"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, November 28, 2008

A curiousity amongst Christmas festivities - catalonian caganer's

Catalonians are not Spanish, they do not speak Spanish, they speak Catalan.

Catalonians also have a curious Christmas tradition, el caganer, a much-loved element of the Christmas celebration in Catalonia, despite an obscure origin.

They have a verb vt : Cagar to shit / crap - they also have another for defaecate.

The Catalonians have in the Christam manger nativity scenes a character who hides in the shadows of the stable .. El Caganer. The squatting shitting man is an essential component of the Catalan Christmas and with his traditional red cap (Catalan barretina ) seems to have first appeared in the late seventeenth century, but didn't really achieve widespread popularity until the nineteenth century.

Why ?

Well the widely accepted Catalan response is disarmingly simple and almost beleivable. Their human ''fertilizer'' enriches the earth around them, thus promising a buena cosecha (a good harvest) in the forthcoming year.

El Caganer is a family business whose sole product now appears to be a range of images which now encompass such icons as Popular Serb / Catalan Barcelona footballer and impressive goal scorer Bojan Krkik , Angela Merkel and President to be Obama, Gordon Brown and Carla Bruni and her husband French President Sarkozy.

This firm , claiming to be the premier supplier of up to 25,000 hand painted icons a year, (@ 12 Euros a pop) the most popular figure, is the traditional farmer figure and in 2nd place, the squatting version of outgoing US President George W. Bush.

The Catalans have not however exhausted the possibilities of merriment caused by shitting and also have the tió de Nadal . This is a hollow log about 12 inches long held up on sticks with a broad smiling face painted and fancy red sock hat on the higher of the two ends, enhanced by a little red sock hat .

Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to "eat" every night and usually covers him with a little blanket so that he will not be cold at night.

On Christmas day the tio is placed in the fireplace and orders it to "crap" beating it with sticks and the children sing songs of Tió de Nadal. (MP3 available here) The stored 2sweets" , nuts, toffees etc., are then revealed and shared with the happy , smiling children.

Apparently there is also a roaring trade in sweets and chocolate covered confectionery in the form of turds at this time of the year.

No comments:

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish